Kenya denies signing ‘future of the internet’ deal with US
The Government of Kenya has denied being among 60 countries that have signed the "Future of the Internet" pact with the United States of America (US).
In a statement on Friday, April 29, 2022, government spokesman Cyrus Oguna said that the matter is yet to be passed by the Cabinet.
"Our attention has been drawn to a statement published on the US Government White House website on the Declaration for the Future of the Internet. The statement lists Kenya as one of the 60 signatories to the said declaration. While we are listed as a signatory to the declaration, we wish to state that, as a country, we have not gone through our processes and laws for endorsing this declaration. As per our laws, Kenya can only be a signatory to any international instrument after Cabinet approval, and ratification by the National Assembly," Oguna stated.
"The said declaration is going through review and based on the outcome of the process, Kenya will be able to state her position on the matter. As such, the listing of Kenya as a signatory is erroneous."
According to the statement by White House, the Future of the Internet declaration is aimed at cubbing a growing trend of digital authoritarianism where some states act to repress freedom of expression, censor independent news sites, interfere with elections, promote disinformation, and deny their citizens other human rights.
The countries listed as having endorsed the declaration include Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, the European Commission, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, North Macedonia, Palau, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Uruguay.
"This Declaration represents a political commitment among Declaration partners to advance a positive vision for the Internet and digital technologies. It reclaims the promise of the Internet in the face of the global opportunities and challenges presented by the 21st century. It also reaffirms and recommits its partners to a single global Internet – one that is truly open and fosters competition, privacy, and respect for human rights," the White House said.
The White House says that the declaration is aimed at protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people as well as the global internet that advances the free flow of information.
The declaration also aims to promote trust in the global digital ecosystem, including through protection of privacy; and also protect and strengthen the multistakeholder approach to governance that keeps the Internet running for the benefit of all.